Monday, December 29, 2008
I alternate between thinking I left publishing at the right time and wishing I were still at Wiley where I could do my job in my sleep - and some of my colleagues surely did. It was a great place in many ways but definitely one of those companies where 10% of the people (mostly sales and editorial) did 90% of the work. And don't even try to get something done on Fridays when quite a few individuals said they were working from home. This would have been more convincing if they ever responded to email. It always annoyed me that my ability to get my job done was negatively impacted by their laziness or desire to spend time with their kids.
My friend Charlotte was interviewed on NPR on the state of the industry.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Please buy someone a book for Christmas! Make that several someones...
Friday, December 5, 2008
The premise is that writer Juliet Ashton is tired and depressed after the war, to the point that she can't even enjoy the success of her bestseller because she feels it is trite and the people who admire it are shallow. She is already worried about finding her next topic, when she unexpectedly receives a letter from Guernsey where a local farmer has unexpectedly come into possession of one of her books (with her address inscribed on the flyleaf). Through their correspondence. she is drawn into the lives of the islanders and eventually travels to Guernsey to write about their struggles and triumphs during the war. Of course, the project distracts Juliet from her war-induced weariness and helps her regroup and start anew but it doesn't feel like a cliche.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I did email Joe Wikert but cravenly he has not yet replied (I doubt his new job has reduced his time for sports because he was badmouthing my Patriots a day or so ago). I did not bother to email Dave Linn because I would have been so disappointed if he and his wife, both Purdue alums, were not watching.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
However, there is indeed no doubt that the word of 2008 is bailout!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
(not that I think most of these people are the type who attend college football games).
And, by the way, we beat Yale 10-0 earlier today. As the Patriot Ledger commented, the frostbite afternoon wasn’t going to stop the home team. I wouldn't say it was the coldest I have ever been but it was very very chilly, especially once the sun disappeared. My friend Lamar, up from South Carolina for 24 hours, kept speculating on the actual temperature which almost made it worse. We had great seats, thanks to my very first employers, Alice and Marty Gordon, who had to go to San Diego for the weekend.
It was a nice moment when the scoreboard showed Senator Kennedy, sitting with his friend and teammate former Senator John Culver of Iowa, enjoying the game.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
How interesting that GQ has picked four incredibly different men as its men of the year: Obama, Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Phelps and Jon Hamm! Why DiCaprio? I know Revolutionary Road is getting a lot of buzz but it hasn't even opened yet!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Americans are going through election withdrawal, trying to adjust to life without poll numbers. Really, we’ve heard quite a bit of whining on this subject lately.
But there’s still Minnesota! The U.S. Senate race there is up in the air. You may want to consider becoming totally obsessed with it, jumping out of bed every morning and racing to the computer to check for the latest vote count.
Or perhaps not. Still, it’s something to hang on to.
There are actually three Senate races that are undecided, and if the Democrats won them all, they’d hit the magic filibuster-proof number of 60. Alaska, determined to continue in its role as the vortex of all things politically strange, still hasn’t counted tens of thousands of ballots. Georgia has a Senate runoff Dec. 2, and the Democrats have dispatched tons of canvassers to help their candidate, Jim Martin. Martin is a long shot, but we should all be grateful that they’ve found something to do with the Obama campaign workers, who would otherwise have been set loose to wander the country, muttering about change and attempting to register household pets to vote.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Colin Powell once judged a chili contest for youthful members of the Foreign Service, then told them he wished he could stay to eat it with them but was expected at the White House for lunch! As I recall, my brother thought he said it with real regret.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
"Most advised going to a shelter, as the Obamas have said they intend to do. 'As a volunteer at the local shelter, I think it would be a great message to the country about the benefits of adopting a dog, and I like the political spin that in America, any dog can make it to the White House,' one wrote."
Monday, November 3, 2008
Levine won a $6.8 million trial verdict that was upheld by the Vermont Supreme Court but the case was appealed to the Supreme Court by the pharmaceutical company. Today the Supreme Court is hearing Oral Argument on the issue of federal preemption of state tort law in Wyeth v. Levine, in a case considered to have long term applications toward business.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
The library will waive all the fines and lost book charges rung up by the children on Saturday. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Boston Public Library President Amy Ryan will summon a magician to make the fees "disappear"
I feel as if I should check my shelves...
Saturday, November 1, 2008
How much do you remember about the week in news?
Take msnbc.com's weekly quiz and find out what you can recall.
What's your beef with a cash bar at wedding receptions? Weddings are incredibly expensive, and a couple starting out shouldn't have to go in the hole for thousands of dollars just to throw a reception where Miss Manners and a bunch of other deadbeats can have unlimited liquor. I thought you were a classy broad!
If we should encounter each other at a wedding reception, then your first drink will be on me, and you can hustle the rest yourself! I DARE YOU TO PRINT THIS!
Suppose you go first and explain why anyone would want to stage a thousands-of-dollars event for people whom they think of as deadbeats, and why other people would want to attend the wedding of those who thought that of them. This will give Miss Manners a moment to think of a tactful way of saying that she does not care to drink with you.
I do love Miss Manners!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
We've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us. In case you aren't aware, that includes California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan,Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.
To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get the Statue of Liberty . You get Dollywood. We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom. We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss.
We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama. We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay their fair share.
Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms.
Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq, and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.
With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of America's quality wines, 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools plus Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.
With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia. We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.
Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61 percent of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.Finally, we're taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.
Peace out, Blue States
(anonymous email forwarded from my friend Gilly)
Sunday, October 26, 2008
"I’ve always been slow to embrace new fads. I didn’t go for brown as the “new black,” and since purple is now the “new black,” I’m certainly glad I stuck with the old. The same for following my parents’ example of never buying on credit. Boy, did that one work out.
As Election Day approaches, I revel in my fuddy-duddy habits. I live in the battleground state of Virginia, where voter registration has increased 10 percent in advance of November’s presidential election, where Democrat Barack Obama has invested huge sums in a sophisticated get-out-the-vote operation and where Republicans are pushing their precinct captains to hang onto a state that hasn’t gone Democratic since 1964. Election officials are so fearful of a chaotic crush at the polls that they’re urging people to vote early with absentee ballots. Though absentee voting in the commonwealth requires voters to meet one of several conditions, officials have nonetheless made it clear that -- ahem -- it’s easy to qualify. (And voters requesting presidential-race-only ballots don't even need an excuse.)
Sorry, I just can’t. I know that if I do vote early, I’ll miss out on long lines, sore feet and the possibility of confronting an over-taxed electronic machine that might malfunction.
But here’s what else I’ll miss -- and what can’t be replaced by a quick-and-convenient early vote: Being pressed to take that one last flier from a volunteer as I walk toward the elementary school; purchasing a treat from the PTA mothers who will set up a bake-sale table outside the polls; enjoying the children’s artwork in the hallway as the line to vote snakes through the school corridors; chatting with neighbors I haven’t seen in months.
There is something magical that happens at the polls on Election Day. It is a renewal of civic culture that marks the first moment of reconciliation after the incivility of a contemporary presidential campaign."
This is why I want my nieces to come with me to the polls on November 4th, although of course they have gone with their parents!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I like this endorsement by Ron Howard for Obama.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
And at my law school in NJ people called spigots "spickets," which I also found very odd. I found this out in my quest for hot tea - there was a plot to withhold caffeine from the evening students, who obviously needed it (especially when taking Property).
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Now imagine how many books I could get from Amazon.co.uk for that much money! I keep thinking about my friend Suzanne's copy of Carney's House Party, which I seem to recall cost $700.00, and was surely the most thoughtful birthday present anyone ever received (and how was her husband to know it would be back in print ten years later?). That is the only book I can think of in the same realm as this, price-wise, in my experience. I own an advance reading copy of the first Diana Gabaldon, which I assume is valuable, but do I want to part with it?
Saturday, October 4, 2008
And no, “nucular” is not a sign of ignorance. This reversal of vowel-like consonants (nuk-l’-yer —> nuk-y’-ler) is common in the world’s languages, and is no more illiterate than pronouncing “iron” the way most Americans do, as “eye-yern” instead of “eye-ren.”
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Simply download and print these LINGO cards -- then watch the televised presidential debates. When a candidate utters the buzzword, cross it out. First player to get five across, up and down or diagonally wins (same rules as Bingo).
Monday, September 29, 2008
"Give me those 12 people's names [who were going to vote for the bill but then voted against it] and I will go talk uncharacteristically nicely to them and tell them what wonderful people they are and maybe they'll now think about the country."
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
The finding, in a report this week by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, may increase pressure on polling organizations to include people who use only cell phones in their surveys. While many major polls including The Associated Press-GfK Poll already interview cell phone users, some do not, largely because doing so is more expensive.
Earlier studies -- including a joint Pew-AP report two years ago -- concluded that cell and landline users had similar enough views that not calling cell users had no major impact on poll findings. The new report concludes that "this assumption is increasingly questionable," especially for young people, who use cells heavily.
Combining polls it conducted in August and September, Pew found that of people under age 30 with only cell phones, 62 percent were Democrats and 28 percent Republicans. Among landline users the same age that gap was narrower: 54 percent Democrats, 36 percent GOP.
Similarly, young cell users preferred Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama over Republican nominee John McCain by 35 percentage points. For young landline users, it was a smaller 13-point Obama edge.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
It was not the first time but it is still startling to wake up and hear NPR interviewing a classmate! One feels very ordinary and underachieving going to work after that!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
"Fireproof" is a movie set for release at the end of the month about a firefighter asked by his father to take a 40-day marriage challenge before divorcing his wife of seven years. The challenge involves reading and following an invented book THE LOVE DARE, "which eventually transforms him and his view of love, marriage, and faith." So test audiences for the movie asked how they could get the book--which didn't exist.
So two ministers in Georgia who had directed and produced the movie, "shut out the world and wrote for several weeks" to create a book "that helps readers learn each day about a unique aspect of the nature of love and offers a 'dare' to help implement that characteristic into their marriage." A publisher has apparently already sold 300,000 copies in advance of the movie's release.
This reminds me of Dorothy Gilman's book The Maze in the Heart of the Castle, which is a story about orphaned teen Colin who must find his way out of the maze. However, Gilman first described this story in her adult novel, The Tightrope Walker, a somewhat wistful standalone in which Amelia Jones begins her own journey of self discovery with references to Maze as being Amelia's favorite childhood story. Gilman must have fallen in love with her own description of Maze, so subsequently wrote it. I always wondered if anyone besides my sisters and me noticed this sequence of events. Gilman is certainly better known for her Mrs. Pollifax books but the others are very good too.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Yesterday, Jeffrey Sachs was the keynote speaker at a lunch I attended, and was very eloquent and impressive about the disaster McCain-Palin would be for the country. It was hard to believe anyone could listen and be unaffected but the associate sitting next to me got up and left the room. It was true we'd been at this event for HOURS but still. How often does one get to hear a brilliant speaker trying to improve our world?
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
In addition, John Slattery, who I first loved in Homefront and who plays one of the name partners in Mad Men's ad agency Sterling Cooper, is from Newton and went to St. Sebastian's, just two years ahead of me!
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Apparently, such attacks on the educated are more common in England - to the point that Cambridge University is trying to influence the story line on television shows such as Eastenders and Coronation Street to include characters of modest means going to university. "We're very keen to attract the brightest and best students regardless of their background. One of the better ways of communicating directly with potential students is to talk to them through the soaps and other programs they watch."
Friday, September 5, 2008
Judith Warner has a good piece in today's NYT. And the rock group, Heart, tells the GOP not to play their old hit Barracuda for Sarah Palin:
"Here's a statement by Ann and Nancy Wilson:
'Sarah Palin's views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song 'Barracuda' no longer be used to promote her image. The song 'Barracuda' was written in the late 70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women. (The 'barracuda' represented the business.) While Heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the RNC, there's irony in Republican strategists' choice to make use of it there.'"
Other musicians have expressed similar views.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
I will admit that I watched and enjoyed the first season or two, and was amused by the premise: teenage girl [and twin brother and parents] from Minnesota moves and must fit in at new school / neighborhood - echoes of my own [unfinished] novel about Jackie Kirk, who moved from Edina to Boston in her junior year of high school but fell for someone more wholesome than Luke/Dylan.
I always resented the fact that the only "smart" character on 90210 was bespectacled Andrea Zuckerman, so obsessed with the school newspaper that she never got the air time of the other women on the show. Funny that she ended up at Yale like my sister Andrea!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Heidi Dalibor was arrested after she failed to return the books, "Angels and Demons" and "White Oleander", last year.
“I said, what could they possibly do? They can’t arrest me for this… I was wrong,” Dalibor said.
Dalibor did not respond to four notices from the library, two phone calls and two letters. The library forwarded the case to police, who issued a citation for Dalibor's failure to return the materials or pay the fine. The citation included a court date, which Dalibor admits she ignored.
With arrest warrant in hand, police showed up at Dalibor’s door and led her away in handcuffs.
While the police have been criticized for going so far, the police chief said they simply followed the law.
“None of this would have been necessary if she followed the agreement and returned the books,” said Grafton Police Chief Charles Wenten.
Dalibor paid her $170 fine and was released.
“I completely take responsibility for not paying my fine on time and not going to my court date,” Dalibor said.
Still, she isn’t planning on returning the books.
“I still have the books and I don’t plan to return them because they’re paid for now,” Dalibor said.
Annoyingly, I have to go to Dallas the week Harvard opens the season but I hope to be back by 9/19 when we play Holy Cross.
A Harvard player I don't remember named Andrew Hatch, a Mormon, who left Harvard to go on his mission, subsequently transferred to LSU and after sitting out a year is now vying to be the starting quarterback for the Tigers. I hope he can do it! The previous quarter back was kicked off the team for bad behavior but I doubt that will happen to Hatch. LSU's first game is on ESPN before a national audience - quite a change for this young man.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I am suddenly reminded of the fact that Jonathan Yardley did not reply to my lovely letter (several months ago) in which I responded to his 11/07 article, "Laura Ingalls Wilder's Well-Insulated 'Little House.'" He had asked for help identifying a childhood favorite, which turned out to be Gramercy Park, Memories of a New York Girlhood by Gladys Brook. I found the book, read it, and photocopied the first chapter for him. You'd think he could have sent an appreciative email. Clearly, he is not of the race that knows Joseph. Somehow I think Chris Bohjalian would have written back . . .
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I came across this quote while doing document review at work yesterday (in the documents! I was NOT procrastinating elsewhere, really) and have decided my new ambition is to get it into a brief somehow.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Perhaps I am thinking about such traditions because I am reading Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith, which I am enjoying so much that I was disappointed this morning to run into a friend at the bus stop (preventing me from reading all the way to work). The heroine is brave but awkward, and while the plot is fairly easy to predict, it is well done. I bought it originally for one of my nieces but realize there is probably too much internal thinking and not enough action for her. However, it would have been perfect for my undergraduate essay on Female Warriors. Funny, how that topic has become so much more mainstream since I was in college - at least in terms of popular literature. Thanks to a friend at work I have been reading much more fantasy than in recent years, including The Darkangel by Meredith Pierce and A Curse as Dark as Gold by Elizabeth Bunce (another brave but obtuse heroine).
Two of my college classmates just lost their 16 year old son in a car accident. I have been trying to write a condolence letter for several days but it seems so pointless - as if anything could comfort people going through such agony.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
The infamous Clark Rockefeller, who in a week has gone from distraught father kidnapping his child during a supervised visit to suspected murderer/man with multiple names and no passport was yesterday tentatively identified as a German who came to the US as an exchange student and never returned home (not a crime, in and of itself). He is in jail in Boston with (alleged) amnesia, and requested two books: one on the rules of baseball and one on Paris during World War I. Maybe he heard that the Manny trade for Jason Bay was the only other news this past week, and wants to be as informed as possible on the national pastime.
Friday, August 8, 2008
A Chicago police officer has been suspended for 15 months for demanding free coffee and baked goods from six different Starbucks.
Officer Barbara Nevers, a 14-year veteran, has also been ordered to undergo counseling.
The Police Board ruled in May that 55-year-old Nevers intimidated Starbucks employees by screaming at them and flashing her badge, handcuffs or gun when they wanted her to pay. The board released its findings Thursday.
Nevers' attorney says her client never used her job to demand coffee. She says some coffeehouses gave it to her for free because she was an officer.
Maybe I shouldn't be critical - I would be annoyed if anyone got between me and my Red Rose Tea. Although I rarely need to threaten anyone to get it...
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
Q. Do we need a system for managing all of life’s various passwords, and if so, what do you recommend?
A. Here’s the quandary: you should use different, unique passwords for everything you log into, but remembering those passwords can be impossible. Like any information you want to easily recall without having to memorize it, having a secure parking place for passwords is key. I use a program called KeePass, which is free and compatible with both Mac and PCs. It’s a secure database where you can store all your passwords — WiFi networks, Windows and PC passwords, bank PIN numbers — and even arrange them into folders. There’s one master password that you have to remember that unlocks it all. To get started, you could just input those passwords you know you’re not going to use too often but might need three months from now. Firefox (and most other browsers) can save Web page passwords and I use that a lot to save time. But Firefox can’t save, say, your WiFi password or your bank’s PIN. KeePass is like a backup to Firefox.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Speaking of Josephine Tey, I was very surprised to learn earlier this month that my sister Andrea had not read Brat Farrar. I quickly lent her Three by Tey, with instructions to read Brat Farrar first.
Monday, July 28, 2008
"Step through the window into the past to the turn of the Century of Deep Valley in the Historic Betsy-Tacy neighborhood of Mankato. Step back in time 112 years in this Victorian house nestled into the hillside on a quiet dead end street. Enjoy a little bit of country in the city with the deer and wild turkeys. Walk the hiking trails or sit and reminisce on the Betsy-Tacy bench. There is tons of potential in this 4 bedroom, 1 and a half bath, 2-story Victorian home. Original woodwork and floors, various stained glass windows, stained glass transoms above bedroom doors, even a working 112 year old door bell! Front Parlor, living room, dining room, kitchen and half bath take up the first floor. Four bedrooms, a full bath and a sleeping porch occupy the 2nd floor. There is a back deck to gaze over the Valley View and a front porch to relax on."
Of course, it might be a tough sell if the potential buyers learn of the eccentricities of some of our members . . . And it doesn't seem to have a garage which is a deal breaker for me, as I keep telling brokers here. Note that in Boston, $125K would barely pay for a garage!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
I can't think of a book where the characters actually live in a church (although obviously there are many where they live in a vicarage) but in Five Farthings by Monica Redlich, the family moves into quirky lodgings across the street from St. Paul's Cathedral in London to be near their father who has been hospitalized and make the city their own. The book itself is very hard to find (I think I borrowed it from my friend Emily in NY when I read it) and the original illustration for the frontispiece (I love that word) is or was on sale for £3,750.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Has she been reading about Madame Fidolia in Ballet Shoes or perhaps the Maestro in Lorna Hill's Sadler's Wells series?
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
During my one summer in DC, I remember the Capitol Police asking me to refrain from jaywalking but I also recall that when I explained I was from Boston, they mostly laughed and rolled their eyes. Maybe Manny should have tried that . . .
* The address of the stadium appears to be Royal Brougham Way, which sounds like something from a Georgette Heyer.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
It only takes a single exposure, and in an instant, your whole day can change. The infection is rapid and feels potentially unending. One minute you're minding your own business and the next you find that you can't stop thinking, humming, or singing "Dancing Queen."
NPR says such insistent repeating melodies often occur during the summer and provides some of its favorites.
Stuck song syndrome annoyed, frustrated, and irritated women significantly more than men. And earworm attacks were more frequent -- and lasted longer -- for musicians and music lovers. Slightly neurotic people also seemed to suffer more.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Judge Ronald Leighton balked at a 465-page lawsuit that made its way onto his desk. He invoked a rarely used rule that requires a "short and plain statement" of allegations.
The title of the racketeering lawsuit filed by attorney Dean Browning Webb was eight pages long.
The judge issued his order in a limerick:
"Plaintiff has a great deal to say,
But it seems he skipped Rule 8(a).
His Complaint is too long,
Which renders it wrong,
Please rewrite and refile today."
I am sure the judge I clerked for last year was amused by this: he is also a fan of short and snappy but despite being devoted to literature is unlikely to issue an order in verse.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
However, the American Antiquarian Society, which is headquartered in Worcester and where my brother spent one summer doing research on his (alas unfinished) doctoral dissertation on French-Canadian immigrants to New England, has a more structured (some would say authorized) program where generous donors can adopt a valuable book in its collection. While Gary Francione might want me to adopt the early vegetarian cookbook, I was more intrigued by The history of Primrose Prettyface; who by her sweetness of temper, and love of learning, was raised from being the daughter of a poor cottager to great riches, and the dignity of lady of the manor. London: 1818. If only I had $1100 to spare!
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
"The most poignant moments came when Gates dropped out of technology prognostication mode — the coming switch to using ink, voice and gesture to interact with computers, for example — and shared candid and sometimes self-effacing banter about his early days with buddy Ballmer.
Freshman year at Harvard, Gates said, 'I was in this dorm up at Radcliffe, where the anti-social math types hung out. I belonged there.'"
We won't tell my mother he said that . . .
Now it is revealed that Hood will buy Brigham's which I find very sad, although I have great respect for John Kaneb who owns Hood (he is a loyal supporter of Harvard football, and I sat with him and his wife Ginny at last November's end of season banquet). Perhaps I should write to him to emphasize which flavors they simply must continue.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Athens, GA (hometown of the B-52s and REM both) seemed pretty remote then (despite my having relatives in Dublin, GA), but now our friend Claudia lives there and works at the famous vegetarian restaurant The Grit!
(Claudia was practically driven to become a vegetarian by a frightening experience involving her cat Tibsy and an unlucky squirrel - you would have to ask her for the details - what I could tell you is only hearsay, but I know I will never forget the shrieks coming from the house. They were what we in the law call 'excited utterances' and others might call banshee wails.)
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
The Boston Celtics Victory Soundtrack includes more than just Queen. . .
Sunday, June 15, 2008
I read every Alcott book repeatedly, even the short stories. I liked Little Women but was certainly in the camp of "how could Jo turn down Laurie for that awful Professor Baer," although my mother tried to explain how German intellectuals were considered very sexy during this era. I was not convinced!
Rose, the heroine of Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom, was my favorite Alcott heroine.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Justice Scalia is sure in luck - dinner with me this month, Sarah Jessica last month! How can the rest of his summer live up?
Monday, June 9, 2008
"Patrick Ewing is one of the greatest centers to ever play the game, ever, whether he won a title or not," he said. "He shouldn't be faulted. He had teammates like me. That clearly didn't help his case."
Friday, June 6, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
American Airlines, the nation’s largest air carrier, said Wednesday that it would begin charging $15 for many passengers to check their first bag, eliminating a free service that passengers in the United States have come to expect during the modern jet era. . .
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
But I have been thinking a lot lately about the library at my elementary school which had a pretty amazing collection of books, including Beany Malone, Noel Streatfeild, Karin Ankarsvaard, Carol Ryrie Brink, Joan Howard, the Mummy Market (which I was reading the day Man walked on the Moon - I was irritated that the teacher kept trying to distract me to watch television), and all the Childhood of Famous American biographies. However, it was the yellow clapboard Boys and Girls Library in Newton Corner where I participated in every summer reading program, and one summer even persuaded the librarians to let me describe every book I'd read to them orally since I was bored filling out the required forms. I don't know whether they thought I was a pain or loved me because I was their best patron (my siblings think the former). Regardless, they would point out the new Margaret K. McElderry books as they came in (I remember in particular eagerly awaiting the new Ruth Arthur) and new books by Barbara Willard. I am not sure I still have my original library card but I recall the number was 18931.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Think of the online communities of book lovers many of us have come to know, and how we are influenced by them. The Betsy-Tacy listren have definitely enriched my life, and frequently we share both love for childhood favorites as well as suggestions of new books we are reading (and sometimes more than verbal recommendations as Betsy just sent me the new Diana Wynne Jones). I enjoy my Georgette Heyer list too but I could have continued to enjoy Heyer on my own.
Back to Marisa who "dreams of living in a house with a cupola" - what a kindred spirit! If Sarah Jessica Parker really makes a movie of Love Walked In, I think Marisa will get her cupola... When will I get mine?
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Observer: Here's What Mad Is By RUSSELL BAKER
After a consortium of auto, asphalt, oil, trucking, garage-mechanic, traffic-cop, used-car-salesman and median-strip-landscaper lobbies, in collusion with the United States Government, made it impossible to live the good American life without a gasoline-powered car, though preferably two or three to show your patriotism, I gave up and went along.
Now Politicians-in-Chief Clinton and Dole think I'm mad because gasoline prices are rising. They don't know the half of it. They don't even know the twentieth of it.
Sure I'm mad about the price of gasoline, but what I'm really mad about is having to buy the stuff just to go to the grocery.
I'm mad about the grocery having relocated from just around the corner to three miles away in what used to be a cornfield out in the country. And why? Because the grocer needs 15 acres of parking lot to accommodate cars that have to be driven three miles every time you want a bag of grapefruit and a gallon of milk.
I'm mad about physical-fitness cranks always saying, "If you can't even walk six miles to and from the grocery carrying a bag of grapefruit and a gallon of milk, you ought to join a health club and get in shape."
I'm mad about being told to join a health club and get in shape because, for one thing, health clubs are more expensive than gasoline, and, for another, because people who are in shape are always looking down their noses at people who aren't but are often superior in every other way to people who are in shape. Did Albert Einstein look like a man who was in shape?
I'm mad about not having a bus or streetcar system left like the one that once enabled people to travel those six miles for a little pocket change.
I'm mad about spending my life looking for a parking space in the city, mad about paying breathtaking sums of money to parking garages, mad about my fellow Americans who dent my car on free-parking lots and drive away without leaving their insurance agent's name.
I'm mad about having to spend more for auto insurance per year than I spend for gasoline.
And how do I feel about knowing that every time I take the car out onto the highway I may be shot because a sniper wants to enjoy a bit of sport with his new gun, or because a testy, armed fellow motorist resents my being in his lane or despises me because my car radio is playing music not to his taste?
How do I feel about that? Mad. That's how I feel.
I'm even madder about being unable, unless you live in one of a few big cities, to travel anywhere anymore without having to drive from 30 to 3,000 miles, all the time burning that increasingly expensive gasoline and inviting snipers and cruising gunmen to shoot you, thus exposing you to hospital or mortuary bills compared with which the price of gasoline is nothing.
I'm mad, too, about people who can't drive being rendered immobile by the national drive-or-else policy.
I'm mad about having to do all the wretched, dull, dreary, miserable driving myself when one of these hopelessly immobilized Americans is the only person accompanying me on a journey of 1,000 miles.
I'm mad about feeling hatred for these immobilized passengers, who are, after all, my fellow human beings and sometimes beloved relatives and should not be detested simply because American culture enables such persons to slumber peaceably in passengers' seats while saps loyal to the auto ethic do all the driving.
I'm mad about the neighbors and their children laughing at me because my car cannot go from 0 to 80 miles an hour in five seconds, and I'm mad about caring enough to be mad about it because it suggests I have fallen in with the loathsome American habit of judging people's character by the car they drive.
I hate being responsible for remembering to change the oil every 3,000 miles, and for checking the belts to make sure they aren't rotting, and for making sure there is enough antifreeze in the radiator, and for knowing how to replace the transmission fluid and how to change a tire when it goes flat at the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel, and I'm mad about being part of a society that insists on such stuff.
Bill, Bob! Wake up! Why stop at being mad about the price of gas?